by Talib KweliTalib Kweli


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A maverick if ever there was one, rapper Talib Kweli is quite happy to stroll from the mainstream to the underground while refusing to carry any of the baggage those two camps might throw at him. His 2013 album, Prisoner of Conscious, featured Nelly alongside some "no sell-out" numbers and provided listeners a bit of a rocky ride, but this follow-up feels more natural as it shrugs off preconceptions left and right, flowing effortlessly, even humbly, from its boom-bap opener to its bro-rap closer. That boom-bap is brought on by the loopy, soulful production Khrysis lays underneath "Inner Monologue," an obvious inspiration for Kweli who offers serene moments ("it's the haters that make it bittersweet") and swaggering punch lines ("party like it's Mardi Gras, get the cream like it's Häagen-Dazs") all while a sample of a Neil Gaiman speech explains changing distribution models and how artists can benefit. Throughout the album, Kweli is that benefit in motion, and while "Inner Monologue" could launch a million think pieces with its pastiche of ideas and commentary, the closing "Colors of You" with Mike Posner (the guy who wrote "Bow Chicka Wow Wow" and the guy who shows up on The Ellen DeGeneres Show quite a bit) is a smooth, buttery, and sonically safe look at the world as a coloring book, where Kweli suggest he can change the hues or color outside the lines if he wants, a confidence that makes him so sexy that "It ain't the liquor that you got you considerin' callin up the sitter/Tellin' her you need a couple hours, and of course you'll tip her." Don't even let the bittersweet-bearing haters know that Posner and Kweli's great freedom overspill is sweetly delivered over a beat from the late J Dilla, but when the other key tracks come from tearing down fear of the Illuminati ("Wormhole") and the almost always iffy category of rap-rock ("Demonology" with Big K.R.I.T. and Gary Clark, Jr. stomps and groans like a Led Zeppelin song), Gravitas becomes an album where anything can happen and often does, as long as it's genuine.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/18/2014
Label: Javotti Media
UPC: 0659123036627
catalogNumber: 1
Rank: 70396


  1. Inner Monologue
  2. Demonology
  3. State of Grace
  4. Violations
  5. Rare Portraits
  6. New Leaders
  7. The Wormhole
  8. What's Real
  9. Art Imitates Life
  10. Lover's Peak
  11. Colors of You

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Talib Kweli   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

M. Jackson   Composer
Mike Posner   Composer
Tariq Trotter   Composer
Talib Kweli   Composer
C. Woods   Composer
Decap   Additional Production
Fung   Composer
Denaun Porter   Composer
J. Scott   Composer
Oh No   Producer
Khrysis   Producer
J Dilla   Producer
6th Sense   Producer
Statik Selektah   Producer
Gary Clark   Composer
Rich Kidd   Producer
Adrian Younge   Composer
P. Baril   Composer
Quest   Producer
J. Nuamah   Composer
K. Ross   Composer
C. Tyson   Composer
R. Fisher   Composer
T DIXON   Composer
Lorenzo Ferguson   Composer
Ritchie Acheampong   Composer
Thaddeus Dixon   Producer
James Yancey   Composer
A. Dobson   Composer
Michael Kawesch   Composer
A. Joseph   Composer
Iakov Kremenskiy   Composer

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